The prequel series 1883 has made a big impact on Yellowstone fans, becoming the most popular debut on Paramount+ with fan-favorite country singers Tim McGraw and Faith Hill as the main leads. But the newest episode that aired on Paramount Network just included a shocking cameo from none other than Tom Hanks, and it's all because of a simple favor to McGraw himself. In the opening minutes of the second half of the two-episode premiere, a flashback to James Dutton's time in the Civil War brought with it one of the most beloved faces in all of entertainment, a cameo that only happened because of a 25-year friendship between legends.
The episode begins with Tim McGraw's James Dutton, a captain of the Confederate Army, waking up after the Battle of Antietam and seeing all of his men dead. As he looks around in horror, he's approached by a group of Union soldiers, including a general, who comes and sits beside him. It turns out to be real life Civil War hero General George Meade, played by none other than Tom Hanks.
The scene that McGraw and Hanks share is a powerful one, showing two men on opposite sides of our nation's deadliest war wondering what all of the violence has been for. The real-life bond between the two actors only made it that much more emotional.
During a roundtable interview ahead of 1883's premiere, McGraw was asked about the scene and how it came about. According to the country music icon, he and his wife, Faith Hill (who also stars in 1883), have been friend with Hanks and Rita Wilson for more than 20 years. All it took was a phone call to get Hanks out to the 1883 to film the scene.
"Well, Tom and Rita and Faith and I have been friends for almost 25 years, we're really good friends. So we spent a lot of time together," McGraw explained. "So when I read the script and read the second episode, I just had an idea and I called Tom and said, 'What do you think about showing up for this cameo to do this show?' I said, 'Faith and I are doing this show. It's our first really big parts and trying to carry something, we're doing it together.' And he goes, 'Tell me when, tell me where and I'll be there.' It was just that simple."
"[Hanks and Wilson] stayed with us for a couple of days before we shot. But the morning that we shot, we separated from each other, because he didn't want to see me because I'm in hair and makeup and a whole different sort of look than I have in the whole show and I didn't want to see him. And so the first time I actually see him is when he walks up to me in the scene, we did that on purpose," McGraw continued.
"And when I fell apart emotionally, part of that was certainly the scene and the devastation that was in front of me and losing all my men, certainly, and for a cause that I didn't believe in, but to know that one of my best friends showed up and he is there with me, and when he grabs my shoulder, it just made me fall apart. Because we've tried to do stuff together over the years and the timing never worked out. So to have him there in that moment and there to support us for a big project was pretty special. And that shows you what kind of guy Tom Hanks is."
What did you think of 1883's shocking cameo? Do you think we'll see more of General Meade in another scene this season? Let us know in the comments!